Bookends – From A Spontaneous Idea To A Sustainable Solution

Here we are going to introduce two amazing mumpreneurs Grace Karim and Somia Anwar, Co-founders of Bookends. Bookends is the first digital platform for purchasing and selling used books online that ships all around the United Arab Emirates. Bookends gives a range of old books at very reasonable costs. Readers and book lovers are now able to purchase books easily and have them delivered, or sell their favorite books on this website. Grace and Somia have a very inspirational personalities, let’s learn more about their journey.

Who are the founders and co-founders of the company?

Grace Karim and Somia Anwar are both co-founders of Bookends.

A complete journey about the company? When you have started, how and where?

Bookends won the 3rd prize in the startup Sharjah competition held in November 2019. We launched our website in Feb 2020 and now we have more than 20000 books in 13 different languages after finding new homes to about 50000 books so far.

The journey of the founder and co-founders?

We are both mums who found books too expensive for our children. Hence, we discussed the Bookends’ idea over a cup of coffee a few years ago until we participated in the business pitch competition which validated the idea. Both of us come from a teaching background.

We struggled to keep our kid’s book collection fresh at reasonable prices to meet our children’s needs. It isn’t uncommon for kids to outgrow books quickly. That’s when the concept of bookends came into existence.

I (Grace) wasn’t interested until I volunteered to teach at my sons’ school in 2012, which taught me to get a PGCEI from the University of Nottingham and then completed my Master’s degree (MED) from the University of Dundee. In the meantime and after facing students struggling with learning Arabic, I wrote my first book in November 2019 to teach the alphabet to speakers of other languages. It is for children and adults and is followed by a workbook. Also, in my research, I found that students would learn most efficiently through stories so I started a series of stories to teach Arabic grammar.

Parallelly, my partner Somia and I also participated in Startup Sharjah in November 2019. Thinking that everyone is going away from reading and the truth that new books are costly, Bookends made favorite books available to anyone in the UAE. NO NEED. Somia too comes from a teaching background with experience in the family business

She never thought her entrepreneurial journey will bring her back to books after realizing the need for affordable books in UAE.

We are happy to have found a unit that makes reading affordable and available while contributing to saving our atmosphere by promoting reuse. Our clients are individuals as well as school libraries. It is a thrill to step into books as it has fueled my fondness for reading and teaching.

Who are your customers? And have you supplied it to anyone? What is the feedback?

Our customers are mums buying books for their own children. Avid readers who read on a regular basis. School libraries are refreshing their shelves using their existing stock. Companies support their employee’s well-being.

What support do you need from the public and customers?

We want our customers to support our missions. Encourage more reading by providing books at affordable prices. Encourage reusing the same book so we can help towards saving our environment.

Is there any breakeven?

We need to sell 4000 books per month to breakeven

Your website and social media pages. 

Website

Pinterest

Facebook

Instagram

YouTube

Contact: 050-3621164

Are you looking for investors? If yes then how much?

We have expansion plans that need funding and we welcome interested investors who can fundraise about 300k.

Message your customers and viewers

A pre-loved book has a story behind it and its charm cannot be replaced. Try to buy it from Bookends and you wouldn’t buy a new book again.

Also Read: Pankaj Vaidya: Frame For Innovative Vision

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